Masters Of Illusion
The only full length studio collaboration project between Kool Keith, Motion Man and Kutmasta Kurt to date, and it's 20 years old! Criminal we still, as I write this in 2020, do not have a part two! This stands easily in my humble opinion as Keith's best collaboration project to date. Motion Man being the only emcee who could truly rock with Keith and fit. And Kutmasta Kurt the only producer to give Keith exactly what he needs to rock with.
Kutmasta Kurt said in an interview, that he saw this project as his baby. Hence it being titled "Kutmasta Kurt presents...Masters Of Illusion" He put a lot of love into this album, and you can hear it. Masters Of Illusion is a trip, the only accurate way to describe it, a complete trip! Buckle in! The first track "Masters Of Illusion" hits with an almost impending sound of dread, familiar fat Kutmasta Kurt drums punching away.
Whenever I hear this opener I feel at home, I feel good. I know the next almost, hour is going to be a ride. Without question this is my most listened to Keith collaboration album, and one of my most listened to albums overall, and it has a really cherished place in my Keith collection. "Rappers are weak, most of them belong to Romper Room / They talkin bla bla, baby stuff a lot of rah rah / I close my ears out, windows down, I don't hear 'em / Commercial raps turn pop, two years they get dropped / Stop makin tracks, factories stop they vinyl wax / That's on the pressin plant, break 'em down, to a compound / Most of these acts get tough while labels hate they buttcrack / Rip out your rectum, your spinal cord, I dissect 'em"
"U want freestyle" is absolutely unequivocally Keith at his unbridled most free. The rhymes come quick, they are unhinged and all the more superb for it. "Presto chango, y'all can feel the flame bro / I light up, ash niggas turn into a rainbow / Droppin freestyles, you are the fu*#in maggots / Sideswipe, don't f#ck with me you'll get your ass wiped /I don't care like welfare, baldheaded with no hair"
"Time To Get Right" is classic Kutmasta funk. Both guys trade verses with ease. True microphone masters. Keith's high pitched hook? of course, excellence. "East West Hustlers" features Keith's probably best performance on the entire project. He's firing on all cylinders, the stomping monster production from Kurt doing the necessary of course.
The album is crammed with both of these two bouncing off each other verse for verse with near perfect unison. "Souped Up" is a prime example. The fast and frantic Kurt beat lets Keith reel off some of his funniest bars to this point in his career! "Defecate in the hood at your store for leavin your fans / Butt-naked with a box of Pampers in the middle of the street / Blow your socks off, send the girls you take to exquisite resteraunts /To Pink Hot Dog, exclusive company just miss the masses / Talk to white girls with flat stomachs, no stretch marks, with black girl asses"
"Urban Legends" production takes the ears on a roller coaster journey as the almost bongo like banging drums and sampled strings do their magic. Motion man having one of his best verses on the album.
"Let Me Talk To You" (unofficially) ends the album on a high with swirling beautiful production.With Motion and Keith coming as close to romantic toward the ladies, as they could realistically get on this project.
Masters Of Illusion is a unique work of art within Hip-Hop, the sound both these two create is hard to describe to those not aware or prepared. The music is varied and flavoursome, the rhymes funny, confusing and sharp as daggers. Motion man is superb on the project, and Keith is arguably at his best since Dr Doom first come first served.
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